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CT Fastrak opens for commuters, bus riders

Busway between Hartford, New Britain to allow quick, easy, convenient travel

By Scott Roberts | 04/01/15 | Updated 04/01/15 | Posted in News, Local News

CTFastrak bus
CTFastrak bus

The Connecticut Department of Transportation opened the new CT Fastrak bus rapid transit system over the weekend on Saturday, March 28, spanning the course of nine miles between downtown Hartford and New Britain.

Riders are able to try out the new system free of charge through Sunday, April 5, then will pay the standard $1.50 CT Transit fare to ride along the Fastrak-exclusive roadway, where buses will provide quick and convenient service to passengers throughout the day.

DOT crews spent the last three and a half years working on the project, beginning back in 2012. But, in 1997, the Capitol Region Council of Governments, also known as CRCOG, along with the DOT, began a study to look at ways to help ease congestion problems on state highways and interstates, more specifically, along the I-84 corridor.

Now completed, the CT Fastrak system links the Greater Hartford regional communities along the route, including Hartford, New Britain, Newington, and West Hartford, to the CT Transit Express bus system that runs to Bristol, Cheshire, Southington, and Waterbury.

"I think as people begin to say, 'I can use this, it will get me where I want to go, and it's easier,' it's a little bit of a mindset change," said Randal Paul Davis, the special assistant to Commissioner James Redeker of the Connecticut DOT.

Riders who are taking advantage of the nine-day grace period are enjoying the experience, agreeing with the convenience of the CT Fastrak system, and saying they'll certainly use it in the future.

"I just walk from my house, come here, and take it. I don't have to drive my car," said Kenburt Thompson, of Hartford, who lived only minutes from the Fastrak's Flatbush Avenue station.

Meghan Detore, of West Hartford, said she and her husband choose to only have one car at home, and now with the CT Fastrak system, it makes going into the capital city much easier, and less of a hassle.

"My husband took it home yesterday. He generally takes the bus, and it's about 45 to 50 minutes, and this was a dramatic change in that transportation time," she said.

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